Now into its second edition in Singapore this year, the Mizuno Ekiden is a relay race whereby teams of four runners come together to complete either a Half Marathon or a Full Marathon together. So this means that “Full Marathon” teams complete 10.5km each and “Half marathon” runners complete 5km each.
The 2016 edition of the Mizuno Ekiden run will be taking place on Saturday, 16 July and will start at 5.00pm in the evening.
First running clinic took place at 8.00am yesterday
And to prepare the runners for the upcoming Mizuno Ekiden race, three running clinics are being held. The first clinic took place yesterday at 8.00am at the Singapore Sports Hub.
The session featured Coach Shanmugam Subramaniam – affectionately knowing in running circles as Coach Sham – who lead a warm-up and cool-down session as well as an 8km run for the “Full Marathon” teams and a 4km run for the “Half Marathon” teams. The warm up session had been quite lengthy, lasting about 15 minutes and comprising of a mixture of dynamic and static drills, while the cool down session was about five minutes long and had consisted mainly of static stretches.
An accomplished endurance runner with several podium finishes to his name as well as a certified running coach, Coach Sham is currently the founder and the coach for the Team RunFanatics.
At the session – besides learning from Coach Sham – I also had the opportunity to test out a pair of Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless Earbuds, which can not only play music from my iPhone 6, but also has the ability to capture key information from my workout such as my running time, pace, distance and heart rate. Jabra has this trial available because they are also one of the sponsors of this year’s Mizuno Ekiden Run.
Ran the 8km route
I ran the 8km route and this was a simple affair, from the Sports Hub towards Marina Barrage with the 4km U-turn point immediately after crossing the Barrage bridge. This was a scenic and pretty route with the backdrop of icons such as the Singapore Flyer and the Marina bay sands being seen from across the river.
However, as the start time of the training session was relatively late though, the weather got hot rather quickly, but I was still able to keep pace with the group though; we had started the run at a comfortable pace of about 6.40 mins/km and at the end, we were running at about 6.00 mins/km.
Unfortunately there were some degree of inaccuracies with the pace, distance and heart rate measurements from the Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless Earbuds though. According to Jabra though, this could have been something to do with incorrect fitting of the earbuds inside my ears – they are supposed to fit extremely snugly and tightly.
However, the inaccuracies aside, least the earbuds were mostly able to stay inside my ears throughout the run, though they did come out a couple of times but that’s probably because I perspire a lot. They were also effective in blocking out the surrounding noise. The sound quality was also decent and didn’t distort the tones of my music.
After the run was over, we helped ourselves to the bottles of Lucozade that had been made available to us. I didn’t realise how thirsty I had been till I started drinking – I polished off two bottles of this.
Coach Sham’s advice about running
Coach Sham also shared some of his observations after watching us running, regarding our form and posture.
According to the Coach, some runners were slouching as they ran and as a result, their shoulders were dropping. He explained, “Instead try and use your body motion to run and keep your stomach upright. You can swing forward a little but do not swing too much and ensure that your body is upright. Stand tall and you will run more efficiently. When you slouch you will waste energy.”
He also added that runners should not drink too much water prior to a run, but afterwards you can drink as much as you can though. Said Coach Sham, “Just gargle your mouth with water before you start running; that is enough.”
As well, Coach Sham also offered a shoe gait analysis to Mizuno Ekiden runners who had been at today’s clinic, so that they could determine if they were wearing the right type of shoes to fit their running style.
As a whole, it was a good workout today, and also informative at the same time because I picked up a couple of useful tips from Coach Sham about running, too.